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Population trends in Himalayan Griffon in Upper Mustang, Nepal, before and after the ban on diclofenac

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 September 2015

KHADANANDA PAUDEL
Affiliation:
Bird Conservation Nepal, PO Box 12465, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal.
TATSUYA AMANO
Affiliation:
Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ UK.
RAJU ACHARYA
Affiliation:
Friends of Nature Nepal, P.O. Box 23491, Sundhara, Kathmandu, Nepal.
ANAND CHAUDHARY
Affiliation:
Bird Conservation Nepal, PO Box 12465, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal. The Institute of Ecological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Baylor University, One Bear Place #97205, Waco, TX 76798, USA.
HEM S. BARAL
Affiliation:
Zoological Society of London, PO Box 5867, Kathmandu, Nepal.
KRISHNA P. BHUSAL
Affiliation:
Bird Conservation Nepal, PO Box 12465, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal.
ISHWARI P. CHAUDHARY
Affiliation:
Bird Conservation Nepal, PO Box 12465, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal.
RHYS E. GREEN
Affiliation:
Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ UK. RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy, SG19 2DL UK.
RICHARD J. CUTHBERT
Affiliation:
RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy, SG19 2DL UK. Wildlife Conservation Society, PO Box 277, Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea.
TOBY H. GALLIGAN
Affiliation:
RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy, SG19 2DL UK.

Summary

The Upper Mustang region of Nepal holds important breeding populations of Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis. Despite this species being considered ‘Least Concern’ on the IUCN Red List, the population in Upper Mustang had declined substantially in the early to mid-2000s. During that period, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac was commonly used to treat illness and injury in domesticated ungulates throughout Nepal. The timing and magnitude of declines in Himalayan Griffon in Upper Mustang resemble the declines in resident populations of the ‘Critically Endangered’ White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis and Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris in Nepal, both of which are also known to be highly sensitive to diclofenac. Since 2006, the veterinary use of diclofenac has been banned in Nepal to prevent further vulture declines. In this paper, we analyse the population trend in Himalayan Griffon in Upper Mustang between 2002 and 2014 and show a partial recovery. We conclude that the decline is now occurring at a slower rate than previously observed and immigration from areas where diclofenac was either not or rarely used the probable explanation for the recovery observed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © BirdLife International 2015 

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References

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Population trends in Himalayan Griffon in Upper Mustang, Nepal, before and after the ban on diclofenac
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